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Eskomos slip by Bombers

A tournament atmosphere greeted fans at the Barnum versus Esko boys basketball game on Thursday night. The Bombers, who hosted the matchup, are ranked in the top 10 in Class A while Esko is highly ranked in Class AA. The Eskomos managed to edge o...

A tournament atmosphere greeted fans at the Barnum versus Esko boys basketball game on Thursday night. The Bombers, who hosted the matchup, are ranked in the top 10 in Class A while Esko is highly ranked in Class AA. The Eskomos managed to edge out a 49-48 win over the Bombers in front of the packed house.

"It was a tremendous high school basketball game!" explained Esko coach Mike Devney. "Both teams played extremely hard and it seemed every possession was huge."

The game had high intensity and the ebb and flow was mentally exhausting to both fans and players alike.

"It was just a good game with many lead changes," said Bomber coach Rich Newman. "Esko played very good defense."

The game was tied at 25-25 after the first half as both teams had chances to take control of the momentum, but neither team was able to get a comfortable lead.

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"The defense was outstanding from both teams," Devney remarked. "Barnum did a good job of defending Scott (Lindquist) in the second half, but our other four starters did a great job of picking up the scoring slack."

Lindquist finished with 13 points for Esko, twin brother Bryan added 11, Jamie Stokes scored 10, Jake Olson chipped in with eight and Jeremy Syrjanen added seven.

"I felt we did a good job defending but Barnum hit some very tough shots, especially Curtis Houle," suggested Devney. "It really showed why it is so fun to play games in the Polar League."

Houle led the Bombers with 22 points, it was 11 for Josh Earlywine and Dylan Eggen, and both Erik Johnson and Kyle Grimm scored two.

With Esko leading by two points late in the game, the Eskomos were able to take some time off the clock before the Bombers got the ball back on a turnover. Unfortunately, Barnum's three-point attempt rimmed out. After the Eskomos rebounded the ball, the Bombers fouled to put them at the free-throw line and Esko responded with a pair of free throws to take a four-point lead.

"We came down and had three shots before Curtis (Houle) hit a three-pointer," explained Newman. "We called a timeout with 2.5 seconds on the clock and on the inbounds we fouled them."

The Eskomos missed both free throws, but Barnum managed to call a timeout with .8 seconds left on the clock. Off the ensuing inbounds play, the Bombers somehow found Houle, who shot a three-quarter court shot that hit the rim and bounced away.

"It looked like it was going to fall for us," Newman said of Houle's shot.

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  • On Monday, the Eskomos downed 60-47 after racing out to a 31-15 lead. Scott Lindquist finished with 18 points, Jake Olson added 15, it was 12 for Stokes, Syrjanen scored 10, Tyler LeRoux added three, and Bryan Lindquist finished with a pair.
  • Saturday, the Bombers defeated Pillager 87-51 in a game they trailed 34-33 at halftime.

"We came out flat and had a poor defensive effort," recalled Newman. "Pillager played a strong first half and shot the ball well. Our kids came out in the second half and played good defense and offensively we got the shots we wanted."
Houle led the way with 29 points, Earlywine scored 13, it was 10 each for Eggen and Steiner Aronsson, Kyle Grimm and Alex Johnson both scored eight, Erik Johnson added seven points, and Jake Waseen finished with a pair.

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